A History of Motocross

Published June 15th, 2011

“Motocross” comes from a combination of two French words. “Moto” for motorcycle, and “cross” for cross-country. The sport of Motocross really came into it’s own in Europe during the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s.

“MX” came to the USA in the mid-60′s. During that time, both here in the USA, and in Europe, some of the top brands were CZ, Husqvarna, and Maico, along with others. Most are brands we don’t hear about too much today – AJS, Puch, Penton, Hodaka, Monarch … the pictures will help tell the story.

I was lucky enough to be invited to Tom White’s (of White Bros. fame) personal museum … his personal garage. I didn’t think I was ‘big’ on MX nostalgia, old bikes, and the like.

But one visit to Tom’s immaculate ‘garage’, and a brief walk around – I was stunned. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. When you get to see the bikes, and know the history, it’s almost like the past glory days of motocross came alive right there. It was amazing.

A History of Motocross - Photo 1 of 35Can you recognize the signature on the gas tank of the 60′s model CZ?

I’ll try to give a brief explanation of each photos, and, I’m hoping that Tom will add his comments very soon, once we let him know the article is published.

I hope you enjoy looking at these photos. In Tom’s garage is a big part of the history of the sport of motocross.

Lex

Click on thumbnail to view larger image – a Norton Motocross racing machine, a Husqvarna, a Puch, a Bultaco, a Suzuki, an up-swept pipe CZ, one of Honda’s first Elsinore’s, a DKW with Sachs engine, dual down-swept pipe CZ, that is a Monarch MX open class racing bike – from the late 50′s! An AJS, did anyone know Ducati made motocross bikes back in the day? Overview of Tom’s ‘garage’, a CCM, how about Harley-Davidson’s racing efforts? Suzuki 400. Harley-Davidson 250. A classic CZ …with Roger De Coster’s autograph on the tank (and yes, Roger used to race CZ’s back in the 60′s), a Husky, Harley-Davidson – with front forks as rear shocks, a Maico, Yamaha YZ 125, anyone remember Rokon? How about the Hodaka Super Rat? The Can-Am 250. Some of the nostalgia in the garage includes posters, jerseys, and assorted memorabilia, overview of garage, Suzuki’s RM 125, check this out – three photos in a row of a very rare twin cylinder, dual carb Husky 500cc machine, entrance to garage.

A History of Motocross - Photo 34 of 35Did you know that Harley-Davidson made and raced Motocross bikes? Check out the rear suspension

A History of Motocross - Photo 35 of 35You can’t help but be overwhelmed at all the items and nostalgia in the garage. It’s really something very special

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